Thursday, 26 June 2008

Brown Period


Maybe its the weather. Maybe its Menopause or maybe its the Zimbabwe situation which grows ever more insane by the day. Here we are on the eve of the farcical election where Mugabe has already declared himself the winner, having not conceded defeat in the earlier election held in March this year.
While I paint, I listen to Cape Talk radio and am quite gobsmacked by the increasingly gloomy scenario playing out on our Northern border. Not surprisingly, I seem to be drawn to the more sombre colours in my collection - Van Dyk Brown, Brown Madder Alizarin, and the Umbers. Most of my paintings presently use these in various measures. I am still battling with the "Door" series. I have started a number of paintings on this theme but none of them are really coming alive and I end up frustrated with my efforts.
I have other work on the go as well - a couple of table mountain and waterfront studies which I am attempting in a semi-realistic style. I find it relaxing to do - like paint-by-numbers. It doesn't involve too much thought or imagination like the door series which is much more challenging. Also on the go is a series of paintings of trees - or more likely the intricate pattern of branches intertwined from a close-up vantage. I took a lot of photos of trees from beneath. Fascinating.

I have always loved trees from the days I spent in Hogsback as a child. In fact I spent a fair amount of time climbing in a huge old Wild Fig tree in our back yard as well as Pine trees. I particularly loved the Oak trees of the Oak Forest in Hogsback (which has now been eradicated due to its "alien" status!)Along the edge of our property was a row of pine trees which grew to a height of about 8 metres before they were cut down. The mist weaving in between the branches was a source of great mystery and atmosphere to me, as were their snow-laden branches in winter and the fresh fragrant pungency of the needles in Spring and Summer.
Now I am fully invested in recapturing that rapture in my paintings! I hope I can produce a fair body of these. One or two is no use really - I would like to do at least 4- one for each season, perhaps. We'll see.

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